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Let’s face facts; the prospect of planning for the distribution of your estate once you have died in a sobering practice. It is also a necessary one; however, not least because this ensures that your capital is used to its fullest potential once you have passed while guaranteeing your loved ones’ peace of mind and future financial security.
Now, the process of preparing your estate can be challenging enough when you are dealing solely within the boundaries of UK law, but it can become even more complicated if you own assets based overseas. This makes the process far more time-consuming, particularly in current climate where so much Geopolitical tension exists.
The Challenge and the Solution: Preparing Overseas Real Estate for Trustees
If you look at the Brexit vote and its potential, long-term consequences, for example, you will see one of the many challenges facing those with a combination of domestic and international assets within their estate. More specifically, Britons will find that the concept of owning property within the EU will become increasing complicated and costly as the UK removes itself from the Union, forcing them to adhere to restrictive legislation while also watching the value of their estate fall incrementally.
International probate laws can also vary depending on your own unique circumstances, as well as being changeable between different nations. The issue is that these differences are often considerable, particularly as the laws in nations such as France and similar EU nations do not recognise a will that has been prepared in another country. This means that, even with the best intentions, some of your overseas assets and real estate may be placed at risk if you make a single will that relates to one nation’s laws.
To avoid this, your first step must be to make separate wills that are pertinent to the countries in which you own assets, as this ensures that your overall estate can be distributed precisely as you intend.
At this juncture, you will also need to source some expert advice and guidance to ensure that your estate is prepared in conjunction with international laws. Given the differences that exist between French, American and UK legislation, it is imperative that you leverage an experienced service provider who can manage international discrepancies and deal with overseas legal teams. This will allow you to deal effectively with claims prior to probate, while also providing you with a viable presence in chancery courts across the globe.
The Last Word: Preparing your International Assets Regardless of the Circumstances
Another primary benefit of securing the services of experts is that it helps you to prepare your assets in offshore jurisdictions where the prevailing laws are particularly prohibitive. In such regions, where your own legal team may not be admitted to the courts, you will need to rely on international partners who can liaise with local lawyers to ensure that your needs and rights are safeguarded.
As you can see, the process of managing international assets and preparing your estate for trustees can be extremely complex. It is also variable depending on the nations in which you own assets or real estate, so it is crucial that you strive to understand the challenges facing you and leverage available expertise if your beneficiaries are to realise the full value of your estate once you have passed.